Bachelor of Health Science (Physician Assistant)

Courses and Study Australian courses Bachelor of Health Science (Physician Assistant)

A health science physician assistant can provide clinical medical services to patients under the supervision of a medical practitioner.

Campus
Townsville
Start dates
February
Duration
3 years full-time
Part time available
Study mode
Flexible
OP/Rank
Special Entry Requirements
See how to apply

Career opportunities

The Physician Assistant (PA) profession is hugely popular in the United States with over 80,000 PAs in practice. The Physician Assistant concept has been adopted by many other countries including; Canada, UK, The Netherlands, and South Africa.

The Bachelor of Health Science (Physician Assistant) course provides individuals with previous healthcare experience the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver clinical medical services under the supervision of a doctor or physician.

The interdependent relationship between the Physician Assistant and their medical supervisor is considered a defining feature of the profession, and distinguishes it from other health care roles.  Physician’s Assistants are trained to perform many of the tasks previously done solely by medical practitioners, including history taking, physical examination, diagnosis, and treatment. This course particularly focuses on educating healthcare professionals who will provide medical services within a team based practice model in rural and remote locations in Australia.

Course highlights

The Bachelor of Health Science (Physician Assistant) course utilises existing state of the art classroom and lab facilities as well as IT based resources.

Physician Assistant educators from the United States are integral members of the academic staff and are responsible for the design and delivery of the curriculum. Common clinical training objectives with that of the medical students allow cross discipline collaboration in the selection of physician assistant student clinical placements.

This collaborative structure also provides opportunities for clinical and didactic interdisciplinary learning amongst the students, thus maximising efficient use of resources and laying the framework for future team-based interaction as healthcare professionals.

Some websites to visit for more information on the PA profession internationally

American Academy of Physician Assistants http://www.aapa.org/

Canadian Association of Physician Assistants http://capa-acam.ca/

UK Association of Physician Assistants http://www.ukapa.co.uk/

Australian websites associated with the PA profession:

Australian Society of Physician Assistants http://www.aspa-australianpas.org/

Physician Assistant Communication & Employment Directory http://paced.com.au/

Course overview

Designed specifically for individuals with previous healthcare experience, this course is offered using a variety of educational methods including a combination of coursework and clinical exposures.

The first two years of the course are delivered via distance education; however, students are required to attend a number of on-campus residential blocks at the Townsville campus throughout this time. The final year of this course is a full year of clinical placement (with limited residential blocks).  The clinical year of the course can be undertaken either full time (1 year) or on a part time basis (over 2 years). Through this method of course delivery, it is possible for practitioners to continue in their current work setting while developing new skills.

In addition to topics in rural and remote medicine, the curriculum will include techniques in patient interviewing and record documentation; diagnostic skill development including physical examination, clinical investigation interpretation, and patient management.

Topics in adult medicine, health promotion and disease prevention across the age spectrum will also be addressed. Learning to access evidence based medical information and incorporate it as a clinical tool will be a recurrent theme throughout the course.

You need to have health related qualification (minimum Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) certificate IV)* or other qualification as approved by the Head of School, Medicine and Dentistry.  You will also need a minimum of 2 years full time (or equivalent part time) work experience in a health related setting.

Successful applicants require Hepatitis B immunisation, current Queensland First Aid and CPR certificates plus a Suitability to Work with Children (Blue Card) and an Australian Federal Police check before undertaking placement. It is recommended that these requirements be completed by the end of your first semester/teaching period.

How to apply

Check the QTAC information and apply by clicking on the relevant link below depending on where you wish to study.

Take note of the QTAC code for this course in the location you've chosen because you'll need to enter it as part of your QTAC application.

Townsville (317145) - Apply now


You must have a minimum of Certificate IV (AQF level 4) health qualification or other qualification as approved by the Dean, College of Medicine and Dentistry, plus a minimum of 2 years full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience in a health-related setting.

Applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • academic performance in year 12 studies or in subsequent tertiary studies
  • written component of the application form
  • demonstration at an interview of attributes suited to a career as a Physician Assistant.

Closing date for applications: 30 November 2016.

Application forms

Candidates will be selected for interview on the basis of their written application and academic results. Applicants will be selected for entry into the course based on their performance at interview, written application and their academic results.

Queensland Health requires all health care worker students be immunised against Hepatitis B prior to their first clinical placement.

*Note Admission requirements are subject to final approval

Subjects

Course Structure

CORE SUBJECTS

Level 1

Teaching Period 1:

MX1010:12 Introduction to Physician Assistant Studies 1

Teaching Period 2:

MX1020:12 Introduction to Physician Assistant Studies 2

Level 2

Teaching Period 1:

MX2001:12 Integrated Physician Assistant Studies Part 1 of 2

Teaching Period 2:

MX2002:12 Integrated Physician Assistant Studies Part 2 of 2

Level 3

Full Time – One Year

Teaching Period 1:

MX3001:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies F/T Part 1 of 3

MX3002:09 Applied Physician Assistant Studies F/T Part 2 of 3

Teaching Period 2:

MX3003:12 Applied Physician Assistant Studies F/T Part 3 of 3

Part Time – Two Years

CLINICAL PHASE ONE:

Teaching Period 1:

MX3011:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 1 Part 1 of 4

MX3012:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 1 Part 2 of 4

Teaching Period 2:

MX3013:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 1 Part 3 of 4

MX3014:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 1 Part 4 of 4

CLINICAL PHASE TWO:

Teaching Period 1:

MX3015:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 2 Part 1 of 4

MX3016:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 2 Part 2 of 4

Teaching Period 2:

MX3017:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 2 Part 3 of 4

MX3018:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 2 Part 4 of 4

Pathway into course

Students are encouraged to undertake the Tertiary Access Course if they have not studied recently and/or want assistance making the transition to University studies.

Get prepared - Bridging subjects

Bridging subjects are designed to fill any gaps in your knowledge. We offer maths and chemistry bridging subjects that can be studied on-campus in Cairns and Townsville. You may need to enrol in a bridging subject if you have not achieved the grade of ‘Sound Achievement or better’ in Queensland Year 12 maths or chemistry.

Handbook

Bachelor of Health Science (Physician Assistant)

Course code

102010

Course type

Bachelor Degree (AQF Level 7)

Division

Tropical Health and Medicine

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Health related qualification with a minimum of Certificate IV (AQF level 4) or other qualification as approved by the College Dean.

A minimum of 2 years full time (or equivalent part time) work experience in a health related setting

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 3a Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Additional selection requirements

Submit JCU internal application form by the last working day in November. Interview (by invitation).

Post admission requirements

Immunisations:

Students must provide evidence of being immune to hepatitis B and that they have been vaccinated or evidence that they are not susceptible for the vaccine preventable diseases (VPD) of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR); Varicella and Pertussis. Professional experience placement is a requirement of this course and students may be engaged in roles where there is contact that would allow transmission of a VPD. Students are required to comply with the above requirement prior to commencing their first Professional Experience Placement or by the end of the first teaching period of their studies, otherwise their enrolment will be terminated.

Clinical placement/professional practice:

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements. Students may be required to undertake such placements away from the campus at which they are enrolled, at their own expense. (Note: health professional courses generally involve extensive professional or clinical placements).

Further information about placements can be found at:

Enrolment Policy – Coursework Students

Suitability to Work with Children Card (blue card):

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements that may involve contact with children under 18 years of age. Students are required to obtain a Suitability to Work with Children Card (which involves a criminal history check undertaken by the Queensland Police) before the start of the first placement. Students must retain a current Suitability to Work with Children Card for the duration of their course, as failure to do so will result in the termination of their admission to the course.

For more information, refer to:

Blue Card Services

Current Apply First Aid and CPR certificate:

Students must hold a current First Aid Certificate before undertaking professional or clinical placements. Students are responsible for any costs associated with obtaining this certificate.

Some professional/clinical placement agencies may require that students hold an advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate before undertaking a professional or clinical placement. Students are responsible for any costs associated with obtaining this certificate.

Australian Federal Police check:

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements.  Some placement agencies may require students to produce a current Australian Federal Police check. This is in addition to the requirements for a Blue Card. If requested, students must provide written confirmation of clearance to the Clinical Placement Officer prior to commencement of clinical placement.

Application documents can be accessed at:

Australian Federal Police

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

72 credit points

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, the graduate will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to provide patient care in a supervised, delegated team model with a medical practitioner

  • Practise culturally and contextually appropriate health care for rural, remote, tropical and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations

  • Demonstrate a community health orientation and ability to operate effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team to achieve improved health care outcomes, particularly in under-served populations

  • Display an understanding of and an ability to operate within the health care systems in the community, rural communities and institutions in the public and private sectors

  • Identify a scope of practice consistent with their level of experience and delegation and demonstrate appropriate self-care and self-evaluation

  • Model effective teamwork, in multidisciplinary environments, to exemplify a collaborative approach to patient care, self-directing learning and professional education

  • Demonstrate and apply literacy, numeracy and communication skills appropriate to professional practice.  Interpret and apply contextually appropriate scientific knowledge in delegated clinical decision making

  • Demonstrate and apply the principles of ethical, professional and legal dimensions of practice within a supervised, delegated, multidisciplinary team model.

Course Structure

CORE SUBJECTS

Level 1

Teaching Period 1:

MX1010:12 Introduction to Physician Assistant Studies 1

Teaching Period 2:

MX1020:12 Introduction to Physician Assistant Studies 2

Level 2

Teaching Period 1:

MX2001:12 Integrated Physician Assistant Studies Part 1 of 2

Teaching Period 2:

MX2002:12 Integrated Physician Assistant Studies Part 2 of 2

Level 3

Full Time – One Year

Teaching Period 1:

MX3001:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies F/T Part 1 of 3

MX3002:09 Applied Physician Assistant Studies F/T Part 2 of 3

Teaching Period 2:

MX3003:12 Applied Physician Assistant Studies F/T Part 3 of 3

Part Time – Two Years

CLINICAL PHASE ONE:

Teaching Period 1:

MX3011:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 1 Part 1 of 4

MX3012:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 1 Part 2 of 4

Teaching Period 2:

MX3013:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 1 Part 3 of 4

MX3014:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 1 Part 4 of 4

CLINICAL PHASE TWO:

Teaching Period 1:

MX3015:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 2 Part 1 of 4

MX3016:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 2 Part 2 of 4

Teaching Period 2:

MX3017:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 2 Part 3 of 4

MX3018:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 2 Part 4 of 4

Campus

COURSE AVAILABLE AT

NOTES

Townsville

 

Candidature

Expected time to complete

3 years full-time, 4 years part-time (only third year available part-time)

Maximum time to complete

5 years

Maximum leave of absence

1 year

Progression

Course progression requisites

A student may not, except with the approval of the Division Deputy Vice Chancellor, enrol for any level 2 subjects until 24 credit points of level 1 subjects have been obtained.

A student may not, except with the approval of the Division Deputy Vice Chancellor, enrol for any level 3 subjects until 24 credit points of level 2 subjects have been obtained.

A student may not, except with the approval ofthe Division Deputy Vice Chancellor, enrol for any Clinical Phase 2 subjects untilthey have completed the requirements of the Clinical Phase 1 subjects.

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)

Clinical placement/professional practice:

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements. Students may be required to undertake such placements away from the campus at which they are enrolled, at their own expense. (Note: health professional courses generally involve extensive professional or clinical placements).

Further information about placements can be found at:

Enrolment Policy – Coursework Students

Special assessment requirements

Students who fail a mandatory assessment in any subject will be required to undertake further directed learning and complete a supplementary piece of assessment in that subject.

Students who fail a supplementary piece of assessment will be required to repeat the relevant year of study.

Accreditation requirements

Not applicable

Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade

Nil

Supplementary exam for final subject

Supplementary examinations are available, subject to current College and Division policies.

Advanced Standing

Eligibility

Not eligible

Maximum allowed

Nil

Currency

Not applicable

Expiry

Not applicable

Other restrictions

Not applicable

Award Details

Award title

BACHELOR OF HEALTH SCIENCE (PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT)

Approved abbreviation

BHlthSc(PhysicianAssistant)

This is a joint degree

No

Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

Exit with lesser award

Not applicable

Course articulation

Not applicable

Honours

Honours availability

Not available

Eligibility

Not available

This website is intended as general guide. Prospective students should contact the university to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.